The very one month ago, you heard about the first Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, China. Of course, we all know that this is a dangerous disease but back then, many of us still rest assured, thinking it is far away and as long as we had nothing to do in China, we were safe.
We are all wrong!
For a few days, there are more and more Coronavirus cases reported outside China – to be specific in Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the U.S, the UK, and more. Just today, WHO officially declared the Coronavirus a global health emergency.
(Source: WHO – Unprecedented Outbreak of Coronavirus)
Now we know it is high time to learn about the Coronavirus to protect you and your family against transmission.
Here I help!
What Is Corona Disease?
Confirmed by experts at WHO, Coronaviruses – as also known as the Novel Coronavirus or the 2019-nCoV, are a large family of viruses which cause many common colds that were reported earlier such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS.)
Many of us have heard Coronavirus for the first time recently. (I do not mention those knowing the Corona wine. It has no relationship with this wine brand.)
However, many pet lovers might already search for coronavirus in dogs or in cats vaccine. In fact, this virus used to be common in animals and many scientists think the Coronavirus was likely spread from animals to humans.
Then, WHO confirmed that some under coronavirus family were transmitted from pets to humans such as the SARS-CoV (from civet cats) and MERS-CoV )from dromedary camels.) Meanwhile, several known coronaviruses do not seem to infect humans.
However, you should keep in mind that the coronavirus I mention hereby is the “Novel Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV is a completely new strain of the coronavirus.”
Can the 2019-nCoV be spread from human to human?
Yes – confirmed by the WHO.
Source: Coronavirus FAQs
That is why the Coronavirus now becomes so scaring.
There is a quick spread of the Novel Coronavirus is possibly transmitted between people after close contacts with an infected one.
To be specific, the virus is spread when the patient coughs, sneezes, or even give a handshake. You can also be exposed by touching things of the infected people and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
Even worse, there has been no antibiotic vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus so far because of the sudden breakout. It might take several months or even several years for the treatment to be developed.
Which we can do now is to protect ourselves from any potential exposure.
Better safe than sorry!
How far will the virus spread?
This is hard to answer!
Any close contact with infected patients is dangerous. However, the most important thing is that we can’t figure out who already become contagious. Even they might do not know their health’s situation.
What’s more, this type of virus is completely so we do not know how long the virus can live outside the host or whether it can evolve in the near future.
Again, the Coronavirus is no longer as far as in China. There are several cases reported in the U.S and Europe – mostly because there are many Chinese tourists travelling around the world during their Lunar New Year, as well as foreign travellers coming back from China.
Is your area at risks of infection?
Let’s check some situation reports (I will update it almost day by day, so check it frequently.)
- Through 31st Dec 2019 to 3rd Jan 2020, 44 cases of pneumonia unknown aetiology detected and reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Through 20 Jan, the number of cases was up to 278 cases.
- On 12th Jan 2020, the Chinese authorities shared the genetic sequence of the virus for further diagnostic kits.
- On 13rd Jan 2020, Thailand reported the first case of the 2019-nCoV. Two days later, Japan reported its first imported case. Korea also reported an infected case on 20th Jan 2020.
- Updated on 21st Jan, the reported cases were 314 globally, including 16 health care workers. To date, six deaths were reported from Wuhan, four of whom had underlying comorbidities.
- On 30th Jan 2020, the infected patients were reported in 18 counties, as can be seen below.
Keep updated on the reported coronavirus situations here.
Since the Novel Coronavirus is the family of viruses that cause the common cold, the infected patients might have to suffer common signs such as:
- Not feeling well
- Respiratory symptoms, cough, shortness of breath
- Runny nose, sore throat, and headache
Even worse, the infection of the 2019-nCoV causes:
- Pneumonia along with serious fever
- Cough with mucus
- Chest tightness and pain while breathing or coughing
- Heart or lung diseases, or kidney failure
- Even death
In pregnant women, the Novel Coronavirus can cause serious outcomes. Back in 2014, there were cases of MERS that the infected pregnant women had a stillbirth.
If you suffer from any symptom stated above or know anyone who does, you should go to the nearest healthcare service or even report to the health care workers for proper treatment.
- Recall suspicious contacts recently (travel, contacts with animals, contact with fever patients, etc.)
- Refer to your medical history
- Do a physical exam
- Do blood tests, if possible
- Do lab tests of sputum (including respiratory specimens and throat swab, and more.)
I mentioned earlier, there has been no vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus yet. But do not be panic, there are still ways to treat the virus and bring the wellness back.
First off, go to the doctors and take supportive and proper care for specific symptoms. For example, pain medication can relieve fever, a hot shower and room humidifier can treat cough and sore throat.
Secondly, drink fluids and get rest as much as possible.
Thirdly, stay positive. Do not let any disease knock you out. Instead, battle against it like you get through a common cold!
Do not wait for the vaccine to be introduced. Prevention is better than cure.
However, you also do not have to lock you in the house all the time, you can play, study, and work normally – as long as you prepare some protection for yourself and for others.
Awareness is the key
If you are sick, you should let a health care worker know and treat it early – even when it might not be the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Avoid sick people
At such a sensitive time, no one will complain if you avoid sick people. Hence, you should stay at a safe distance from the sick. Wash hands with soap and clean water after close contacts. Try not to touch your nose, mouth, and eyes.
Cover your face with a mask
If you are sick or you are outside, bring along a face mask to cover your mouth and nose from suspicious cough and sneeze.
Clean houses and workplaces
You should clean and disinfect places that you contact frequently like the household appliances and your position at the workplace.
Even when there is no disease outbreak, cleaning the environment around help keeps you fresh and healthy.
Do not travel to inspected areas
You had better save your holidays for later, especially when the destinations that report the Novel Coronavirus cases, such as China, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc.
Also, stay away from animal markets.
Last but not least, always keep update on reliable and advisory information from experts. Or I will do it for you in this blog post.
Accordingly, the WHO advises individuals to wash hands frequently and avoid close contacts with others when being sick.
Also, all countries are encouraged to improve their surveillance for respiratory infections (SARI) and to keep any careful eye on any unusual patterns of SARI or pneumonia cases. They must notify WHO of any suspected and confirmed infected cases of the Novel Coronavirus. In addition, countries should continuously enhance their preparation for health emergencies in line with regulations and advices from experts.
I Hope You’re Always Healthy
In spite of the sudden outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), do not be panic and confused by various information out there. Take all recommendations above into your account and stay as healthy as possible in 2020 and ever.